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I do not know what I am doing here

  Wed 30th September 2020

Back here, Cath is keen to dispel any lingering Milanese warmth I might be cradling.

She emails me (emailing someone who lives with you?) "you sent the rent to the wrong account. Luckily there was enough in there to pay the rent," cc'ing her daughter in to my telling off.

Monday morning, and I've sorted the recycling incorrectly. In the street, she flings down the new bag we've been given from the council for Type a(2)(b) (not brown or multicoloured except if Type c(1)) paper and card. She shouts up to my window. "Looby! Can you come down?" "What's the problem Cath?" "Can you sort this out? They won't take it otherwise!", before slamming the car door and driving off.

This evening, she texts me about today's "house meeting" which I'd forgotten about. I lie and say I'm with Mel but could get back for about half past eight. "Not tonight then, but we have to have a meeting. Saturday 6pm?"

Why do we have to have a meeting? More generally, what is the advantage to them to me being here? Why didn't they get a two-bed place for themselves?

I'm walking down the high street when I am hailed by a woman. "Hiya looby!" She was sat with a bloke on the perimeter wall of a pub. She looked unrecallably familiar, until I realised that I'd met her outside a pub a month or so ago, when we ended up down a side street doing weed and speed on some office building's steps. It's a pharamceutically silly combination; but the social cement it formed was more important.

She texted me three times today. "Were u to"; "ring"; "meet down the park".

As I do so, work rings to offer me a housekeeping job at five hundred pounds a week and a one-bed flat. But you have to drive. I gesture to Cory with a questioning, drinking gesture. I think it's rude to take phone calls when you're with someone, but I need money. She replied with the apologetic shrug of someone who has none.

After the call, I explain why I took the call, and go to the offy to get us a drink. She told me about her friend who used to make mcat in the bath; her children, two younger ones with their dad, two older ones with her sister-in-law, and access arrangements; about getting off crack and heroin. Clean for five days now.

I told her about Cath's peskiness. "Well, I've got a three bed house. Just up there on --- Ave. All brand new. I wouldn't see you short of a place."

I don't want to push myself onto Mel, who's just back from Greece, but I ring her anyway, and I'm delighted when she suggests I come over to our pub. I'm tired from a night shift, ten till six, shelf stacking at Sainsbury's, so I nip back to mine and do a little speed. I bump into Cath at the front door who tells me that I've got something just there on my nose.

Our pub is closed, so we go to another, a cold, deserted place. She gives me a present and tells me to take a drink from it. It's one of those paint strippers that Scotland and southern Europe produce. I want to ask her to circle her finger in my palm, which excited me early on, the first time we started touching, but I don't. It's not the right situation.

The apologetic young landlady tells us that the pub is shutting at nine, so we walk up to my bus stop where there is no bus for half an hour. Her mouth is faggy from her smoking, and it's an effort to retrain myself to like it, but we spend the half hour kissing, my hands sliding around her anoraked waist.

The sad realisation of us having nowhere to go for our courtship other than bus stops comes upon us both at the same time: she living with her mother, me sharing a house with a wound-up spring in human form.


Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

One tip re the recycling: If it gets too much shove it all in the black sack. I know, appalling, but sometimes it just gets too confusing.
Are you going for the job? Sounds like it could solve a lot of problems.

Thu 1st October 2020 @ 06:11 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, I’m not wasting my life trying to work out the intricacies of the recycling bins.

I can’t be considered for the job as you have to be a driver. And from what I’ve heard, live-in positions can turn into paid prison. But 500 a week and no rent? It would have been tempting for a year or so.

Thu 1st October 2020 @ 09:30 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

I thought the same about the job Looby ..with the flat thrown in sounds too good to be true! But yes, can also see it could be stifling..and stifling is what it sounds like you need a break from. Coiled spring is right. A lot of that about right now mind not just Cath, you just have to walk down the street, plenty people on edge, jabbering and cursing into their mobile phones. More than usual even.

I’m sure that break is coming for you though, you stick too many irons in too many fires for it not to (if that’s the right expression, I imagine you know what I mean)… in the meantime at least the company in the busstops round your way sounds like it is remaining more than engaging!

Thu 1st October 2020 @ 22:59 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes everyone’s getting a bit fed up with it now. Feels like lbeing detained in an internal prison on a trunped-up charge.

Sat 3rd October 2020 @ 11:57 Reply to this comment
Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Get Ubers or a dedicated chauffeur for the driving you need to do?

Fri 2nd October 2020 @ 23:07 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I’d have though someone who can afford to live on an estate would already enploy one.

Sat 3rd October 2020 @ 11:59 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

That last bit, with Mel, i get this melancholic beauty from it that is quite lovely to my warped sensibilities…

Cath on the other hand, jay-sus, my impression of her is one of a miserable human who worries and injects herself into things where she’s not needed all the while believing she’s doing people favors when really she’s just a royal pain in the arse!

That’s just me of course ;)

Mon 5th October 2020 @ 13:16 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

She’s hard work kono. She makes me feel nervous. Got another tale to tell of Cath’s wound spring in a day or two!

Wed 7th October 2020 @ 21:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

‘You have successfully sent an email to looby’.

That’s what it says in the green-texted notification I have just received, anyway! Please let me know that you have got it/ write back! Thank you- Jonathan

Thu 8th October 2020 @ 21:56 Reply to this comment

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